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Meryl Streep Learns A New Skill For Ricki And The Flash

Meryl Streep Neil Young Jonathan Demme Mamie Gummer

At age 66, Meryl Streep continues to add to her bag of acting tricks. For her role as an ageing rocker in Ricki and the Flash, she took a crash course in guitar playing from none other than rock legend Neil Young.

Meryl Streep and Mamie Gummer in Ricki and the FlashMeryl Streep stars alongside her real life daughter Mamie Gummer in 'Ricki and the Flash'

And what was his best advice? "He said crank it up to 11," she laughs. "You've got to turn it up, turn it up loud!"

Continue reading: Meryl Streep Learns A New Skill For Ricki And The Flash

Ricki And The Flash - Drift Away Featurette Trailer

It's well-known that Meryl Streep has an extraordinary singing voice as well as being a remarkable actress, but now she's mastered an additional talent by learning rhythm guitar to play rock veteran Ricki Rendazzo in music drama Ricki And The Flash. One of the songs that she learned was movie original 'Drift Away'. 

Continue: Ricki And The Flash - Drift Away Featurette Trailer

Ricki And The Flash - International Trailer

Ricki Rendazzo is a rock star who gave up everything to pursue her dream of stardom. But when her ex-husband Pete asks her to visit Chicago and help their estranged, divorced daughter Julie through a difficult time, she's given a chance to make amends with the family she abandoned for a life of fame and fortune. Taking her shot at redemption, Ricki faces the music and tries to make up for lost time. Meryl Streep stars opposite her real-life daughter Mamie Gummer for the third time. They previously starred in Heartburn (1986) and Evening (2007) together.

Continue: Ricki And The Flash - International Trailer

Ricki And The Flash - Teaser Trailer

Ricki Rendazzo is a veteran rockstar as part of her band Ricki And The Flash. She's adored by so many people in the world apart from the people who matter the most; her family. While on tour (as usual) she gets a call from her ex-husband Pete telling her that her daughter Julie has been dumped by her partner Max for another woman. Realising finally that her presence is needed, she drops everything and rushes to her daughter's aid - though, as it turns out, Julie is far from grateful. She and her brother have been forced to spend their most cherished memories without Ricki there, with their stepmother Maureen taking on the role as a proper mother to them. Ricki's son doesn't want her at his forthcoming wedding either, so it seems Ricki has a lot of making up to do if she wants to have a hope of re-connecting with her loved ones.

Continue: Ricki And The Flash - Teaser Trailer

49th Annual CAS Awards

Anne Hathaway and Jonathan Demme - 49th Annual CAS Awards at Biltmore Hotel - Los Angles, California, United States - Saturday 16th February 2013

Anne Hathaway and Jonathan Demme
Anne Hathaway
Anne Hathaway
Anne Hathaway and Jonathan Demme
Anne Hathaway and Jonathan Demme
Anne Hathaway and Jonathan Demme

Corman's World: Exploits Of A Hollywood Rebel Review

An essential documentary for movie fans, this exploration of the work of iconic filmmaker Roger Corman revels in the joy of exploitation movies made on a minuscule budget with lashings of gore, explosions and nudity. It's a glowing portrait of a man who changed filmmaking forever.

Corman's 400 films have tapped into youth culture in ways that studios never could. This documentary traces his career with interviews and clips, but also explores his impact on the industry at large. Clearly, he's not only an important filmmaker, but he's also a genuinely nice man (at one point, Nicholson breaks down and cries while talking about him). We also get glimpses behind-the-scenes on 2010's hilarious-looking Dinoshark, proving that his filmmaking methods haven't changed much in nearly 60 years. And we discover that his favourite filmmakers include Bergman, Fellini and Truffaut, whose films he distributed in America.

Continue reading: Corman's World: Exploits Of A Hollywood Rebel Review

New York Premiere Of 'Where The Wild Things Are' At Alice Tully Hall - Arrivals

Joan Allen Tuesday 13th October 2009 New York premiere of 'Where the Wild Things Are' at Alice Tully Hall - Arrivals New York City, USA

The Times BFI London Film Festival: 'Rachel Getting Married' At The Vue West End - Arrivals

Jonathan Demme Monday 20th October 2008 The Times BFI London Film Festival: 'Rachel Getting Married' at the Vue West End - Arrivals London, England

Jonathan Demme

Rachel Getting Married Review

Anne Hathaway looks like a movie star, but more often than not acts like a studious, earnest head of the class. Rather than filtering characters through some kind of star persona or actorly invention, she does what is required with such technical precision that her performances lose any spark of spontaneity (that's why she didn't get any laughs playing Agent 99 in Get Smart; she somehow managed to play the straight woman role too straight).

But something happens in Jonathan Demme's Rachel Getting Married. Hathaway plays Kym, the black sheep of an upper-middle-class Connecticut family who has left rehab in time to attend her sister Rachel's wedding. This isn't simply a case of an actress obviously playing against type, although she clearly is. Hathaway teases her studiousness out into self-centered, self-destructive prickliness; Kym is like a teacher's pet, begging to be rewarded for her self-aware (but caustic and uncomfortable) humor, and her self-serious (yet somehow pompous) parroting of Narcotics Anonymous wisdom.

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Jimmy Carter Man From Plains Review

Quick. Think about ex-President Jimmy Carter. What comes to mind. Peanuts. Georgia. Energy crisis. Bad '70s fashion, maybe? The Iran hostage crisis. Crazy inflation? Maybe his recent work with Habitat for Humanity? Even his Nobel Peace Prize?

If you weren't glued to the news channels in late 2006 you might have missed the controversy: Other words started being used to describe this gentle man, words that until that point would have been thought unlikely. Words like: Anti-Semite. Racist. Plagiarist. Hatemonger. Terrorist sympathizer.

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Neil Young: Heart Of Gold Review

A recent Associated Press article reported how documentaries were among the best-reviewed movies of the year. One of the movies mentioned was Jonathan Demme's Neil Young: Heart of Gold, which profiles the legendary singer/songwriter's August 2005 "Prairie Wind" concert in Nashville. I have no quibble with the reviews -- the movie is terrific -- but I do take exception to labeling the movie a "documentary." What we have here are the reflections of an artist as an old man.

Having recently suffered a brain aneurysm, the death of his father, and closing in on 60, the concert finds Young as a mortal vulnerable to the onslaught of time. With his friends (including his wife, backup singer Pegi) playing by his side, we get a distinct feeling that there might not be many concerts left. One of the last songs, an old favorite of Young's, Ian Tyson's "Four Strong Winds," says it all: "If the good things are all gone, then I'm bound for moving on / I'll look for you if I'm ever back this way."

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Swimming To Cambodia Review

With Spalding Gray's recent appearance at the Paramount (in Austin), we have a perfect excuse to revisit his masterwork, the highly-acclaimed Swimming to Cambodia. If you aren't familiar with Gray, he is a singularly unique entertainer--a monologist whose films and live performances consist of his "raving, talking head" behind a desk for 90-plus minutes, and they are always completely enthralling. In Swimming to Cambodia, Gray relates his experiences during the filming of The Killing Fields, a movie in which he had a minor role. Along the way, Gray speaks ostensibly about the malignancy of the early 1970s: Vietnam, the Kent State massacre, and the genocide committed by Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge, on which Fields is based. However, it is through Gray's subtle parallels with the evils of today--our urban strife, sex parlors, drugs, and deviants--that Gray's message really proves that we have become callused by the past and that our innocence has truly been lost. Laurie Anderson's tribal score and Demme's perfectly-executed direction take us right inside the mind of this eccentric genius. And it's one hell of a visit.

Adaptation Review

Wrap your noodle around this one. Real-life screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich; Human Nature) writes a screenplay about screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (Nicolas Cage) writing a screenplay adaptation of a real-life book, The Orchid Thief, written by real-life author Susan Orlean (played in Adaptation by Meryl Streep).

Thus spake Adaptation. Starting out with fake (or real?) behind-the-scenes footage of Malkovich, taking detours to the dawn of life on earth and story mogul Robert McKee's screenwriting class, Darwin's lab, Orlean's book (with Chris Cooper playing the swamp rat/scientist/orchid thief himself), voice-overs, and flashbacks, Adaptation finds inventive convolutions that might make it seem more esoteric than it really is.

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